Last year we talked about New Jersey’s state-specific background check disclosure requirements. But this isn’t the only thing employers should know about New Jersey-specific requirements. Like Washington state, New Jersey also has a state-specific Summary of Rights.
According to New Jersey law, if using a background report for employment purposes, before taking adverse action based in whole or in part on information in the report, employers must provide a copy of the report to the candidate. In addition, the employer must also provide the candidate with “a description in writing of the rights of the consumer under [the New Jersey Fair Credit Reporting Act (NJFCRA.)] and the federal ‘Fair Credit Reporting Act’…”
Consumer Rights & Protections in New Jersey
What are the rights of consumers under the NJFCRA? The NJFCRA is similar to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and contains a number of consumer rights, including, but not limited to:
- Required consent – The candidate must provide written authorization to obtain a background report about them for employment purposes.
- Required disclosure – Before procuring a background report for employment purposes, employers must provide a clear and conspicuous written disclosure to the candidate. The document must solely disclose that the employer may obtain a background report for employment purposes.
- Specific disclosures – Specific disclosures are required if obtaining information in the background report through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, associates, or acquaintances of the candidate or others with knowledge of the candidate. (An “investigative consumer report,” as defined by New Jersey law).
- Pre-adverse action requirements – If using the background check for employment purposes, employers must provide specific notices to candidates before taking adverse action.
- Right to information – Candidates have the right to request and receive all information in their file from a consumer reporting agency.
- Dispute process – Candidates have the right to dispute information contained in their file directly with a consumer reporting agency.
- Information removal – Consumer reporting agencies are required to delete or modify inaccurate, incomplete, or unverifiable information.
- Remedies – Candidates have the right to seek damages from violators of the NJFCRA.
Employers should work with their legal counsel to determine if their New Jersey Summary of Rights complies with the New Jersey Fair Credit Reporting Act. Verified Credentials’ clients can access sample documents in the Resource Library, including a sample New Jersey Summary of Rights, to help as they create their candidate-facing documents.